Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Iran's parliament to question president over economic woes

Iran's parliament to question president over economic woes

"I believe in meeting", Trump told a joint news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, when asked whether he was willing to meet with the Iranian leader.

Trump's offer of talks came only days after he effectively threatened Iran in a tweet addressed to President Hassan Rouhani and said, "You will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he supported the President's willingness to meet with Iran, but in an apparent divergence from the President's stance he listed a series of conditions that would first have to be met. "I believe in meetings. if they want to meet, we'll meet".

However, Hamid Aboutalebi, an adviser to President Rouhani, tweeted in response to Mr Trump that only "returning to the nuclear deal" and "respecting the Iranian nation's rights" would pave the way for talks.

"Talks with the U.S. would have been right had the USA not withdrawn from the JCPOA and imposed sanctions on Iran", Ali Motahhari said, according to Iran's state-run IRNA news outlet.

Rouhani says, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has never sought tension in the region and is not seeking to cause any problem in the global waterways, however we will never abandon our right to export oil".

The official said that North Korea also would be represented at the Singapore meeting, and while chance encounters for Pompeo are possible, no bilateral meetings have been scheduled.

The rial dropped to 112,000 against the dollar over the weekend; it has been steadily dropping in value after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this year.

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With "Washington's hostile measures against Tehran and its efforts to put economic pressure on the country and impose sanctions, there will remain no possibility for talks", Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told reporters.

Rouhani also held a separate meeting with Iranian ambassadors to 14 countries, including Poland, Japan, Vatican, Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Finland, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Mali, Colombia, Bulgaria, and the Permanent Ambassador and Representative of Iran to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

"Trump understands that he does not have the capacity to wage war with Iran, but due to historic mistrust, diplomatic ties have been destroyed", said Falahatpisheh, adding that this left no choice but to work towards reducing tensions.

Trump noted his recent one-on-one discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin as examples of his direct diplomacy with leaders deemed hostile to USA interests.

The Iranian leadership has previously ruled out one-on-one talks with Trump, following his decision to pull the USA out of the deal under which Iran was given relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, characterized the overture as "fine", but only "as long as they are willing to talk about being a normal country in the future". But, typical of Trump's haphazard approach to foreign policy, it is not clear who is being eyed as the replacement. "So many things have happened so positive", Trump said. "The president's war cabinet seems more inclined to bring the Iranian regime to its knees".

Many in Iran are therefore suspicious of his latest volte-face.

Trump's move to force Iran into new negotiations has for now reunited Iranian hardliners who opposed the nuclear deal and pragmatists like Rouhani who championed it to Iran's economically crippling stand-off with Western powers.

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